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Unfortunately too many transgender Australians report experiencing discrimination in the workplace, or when they look for accommodation or when they access goods and services.

It is unlawful to be discriminated against on the basis of your gender identity.

Even so, that doesn’t stop some employers from sacking a trans worker, or reducing their hours, or refusing them a promotion.

Trans workers are particularly vulnerable when they ‘come out’ or when they are transitioning.

What is transgender or gender diverse

The term ‘transgender’ or ‘gender diverse’ refers to someone whose gender identity doesn’t match the gender they were born with or the gender that was assigned to them at birth.

Being transgender is independent of sexual orientation.

Transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or may decline to label their sexual orientation.

Who Qualifies As Transgender?

 You qualify as transgender if:

  • you identify as the opposite gender to your birth gender and live as your identified gender
  • you identify as the opposite gender to your birth gender and are seeking to live as your identified gender
  • you are intersexual (born with indeterminate sex, for example with sexual parts of both sexes), and you live as your identified gender
  • you are thought of as a transgender person

Importantly, you do not have to have had any surgery to be counted as transgender, and you don’t have to be taking any hormones.

It does not matter what gender you were at birth.

It does not matter which gender is your identified gender, or why you are transgender.

What matters is how you live and behave, or how you want to live and behave.

What the law says

The Sex Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for an employer to treat a person less favourably than another person because of their gender identity, appearance, mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics, or because you have a relative, friend, or colleague who is transgender.

It is also unlawful to discriminate against a transgender person when they are looking for accommodation, or when they are accessing goods and services.

Being Treated As Your Preferred Gender

In general, if you are recognised as a transgender person, you have the right to be treated as the gender with which you identify, and you can wear the clothes or uniform of your identified gender, and use the toilets and change rooms of your identified gender.


How We Can Help

If you have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of your gender identity, our team at Discrimination Claims can help.

We can take action on your behalf in the Anti-Discrimination Commission or Fair Work Commission, as well as making claims for compensation.

IMPORTANT:  If you have been dismissed from employment because of your gender identity, you only have 21 days from the date of your dismissal to make a claim, so don’t delay!


More reading

RELATED STORY:  ‘You have to think of the children’ – Trans workers still face discrimination

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RELATED STORY:  Transgender Queenslanders can stay married


For more information, please call

Discrimination Claims

1300 853 837

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